Brian Geraghty Chef:- Previously, Brian Geraghty worked in some of Australia’s most prestigious restaurants, including Sean Connolly’s Astral, the three-hatted Quay, and the three-hatted Bilson’s, where he held the positions of chef de cuisine and executive sous chef. The Berowra Waters Inn has reinvented the classic “degustation menu” notion and instead created a menu of smaller meals to complement the larger ones.
After being laid off and unable to justify leasing both the restaurant and an apartment in Coogee, Brian, the current Gault & Millau Chef of the Year, relocated his family, which included his partner Victoria, their 15-month-old son Otis, and their two dogs, to the iconic waterfront restaurant in Berowra, 50 minutes drive from Sydney’s central business district.
Brian Geraghty, who was born in Ireland, migrated to Australia when he was four years old and started cooking when he was fourteen. After completing his apprenticeship at a number of restaurants in and around his hometown in rural NSW, he relocated to Sydney with the goal of working with and learning from some of the country’s foremost chefs of the current era.
As a result of the restaurant’s unusual and rather secluded position on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, which was only accessible by boat and nestled away in bushland, the relocation proved to be a logistically demanding undertaking.
Tony Bilson was enlisted to assist with the menu design, and he released a snake-free in the basement (which is still there) before leaving Mr. Geraghty to work his magic.
The inn has always been a thrilling experience. The eatery is located in a remote area with little or no phone coverage. It is necessary for diners to be transported there from the public dock by boatman Adrian Birkensleigh or to take a short seaplane journey from Rose Bay.
The owner of the business, Mr. Geraghty, clarified that “I do not sell food” and that “we are not a restaurant.” We’ll keep you occupied for four hours. We’re just here to make you feel bad about yourself.
In his experience, “you have a lot of people coming in, a lot of suits, and they become so anxious that you can see them there tapping their phones, ‘How the heck am I going to get this email?, and it doesn’t matter,” he added.
We had to rent a barge to transport everything across the river (including heavy furniture! ), but it all onto a pontoon at the water’s edge, and then lug it all up the tight stairs that go up to the dining area. It was a long and difficult process. It’s a decision we won’t forget anytime soon, “Brian expressed himself.
Previously used as a private dining room, the restaurant’s commercial kitchen has been transformed into the family’s living room, complete with stunning views of the river. The commercial kitchen, where Brian previously prepared a fine dining degustation menu for diners each week, is now where he prepares his family’s meals, from breakfast cereal to Otis’ favorite mac and cheese.
Brian’s professional experience spans the globe. He has previously worked at Dublin’s Lindsay House and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, as well as London’s Pied à Terre, which holds two Michelin stars and where he spent four years learning under Australian ex-pat chef Shane Osborn. In addition, he has had stage jobs (internships) at L’astrance in Paris, Per Se, WD-50 in New York, and WD-50 in London.
Brian took over the Berowra Waters Inn, which specializes in contemporary Australian cuisine, in 2012 and is presently the executive chef as well as the owner of the establishment. He and his family temporarily relocated inside the restaurant in 2020 when it was closed due to the pandemic, allowing him to work closer to home.